TURKEY’S THREAT: $11 BILLION IN AEROSPACE DEALS WITH U.S. AT RISK
March 9 2010
WASHINGTON — Turkey’s status as a major client for U.S. aerospace
companies may be in jeopardy, according to industry officials.
Marion Blakey, who leads an association that represents major
U.S. aerospace companies, said the association had expected that
Turkey would order more than $11 billion in defense and aerospace
equipment and platforms in 2010.
"Critical national security, economic and diplomatic relations with
our ally Turkey are threatened," Blakey, president of the Aerospace
Industries Association, said.
Lobbyists said Turkey could suspend procurement of U.S. civilian
and military aircraft in the wake of the passage of a resolution
in Congress on the Armenian genocide during World War I. Turkey,
which has denied involvement in the killing of one million Armenians,
has threatened retaliation for the House Foreign Relations Committee
vote on March 4.
"Turkey and the United States have important and long-standing
strategic and economic ties," Blakey said. "Turkey is a strong
democracy, a fellow member of NATO and a critical partner in the war
Blakey did not cite Turkish procurement projects. But industry sources
said Turkey had planned to submit its first order of the Joint Strike
Fighter as well as select the winner of a multi-billion-dollar utility
helicopter tender in 2010.
In his March 5 statement, Blakey urged President Barack Obama and
Congress to stop the Armenian genocide resolution. He stressed that
Turkey played a key role in the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan.
"We’re urging President Obama and the Speaker of the House to ensure
that the resolution doesn’t go to the House floor for a vote," Blakey
said. "There is simply too much at stake."